NOT only is Lotte Inch curating York's inaugural horticultural festival Bloom!, but Lotte Inch Gallery is playing its part too.

Lotte welcomes international installation artist Rebecca Louise Law to her Bootham art space for the summer to present The Ephemeral Nature of Flowers Part I, featuring her signature works made from natural materials, namely flora.

Part II of the exhibition is being shown next door in Janette Ray Booksellers, run by Lotte's mother, where artists who have used flowers as the basis

of their work are being showcased, such as John Nash, Georges Braque and Barnett Freedman.

The Ephemeral Nature of Flowers Part I looks beyond traditional still life floral subjects to explore Law’s use of flowers, often dried, in varying states of decay as a commentary on the relationship between nature and humanity.

Law, who lives in London, creates her installations on increasing scales around the world, and among her most prominent commissions are Outside In in Times Square, New York, The Beauty Of Decay at Chandran Gallery, San Francisco, and Life In Death at Shirley Sherwood Gallery, London.

The physicality and sensuality of her work plays with the relationship between humanity and nature, and Law is passionate about natural change and preservation, allowing her pieces to evolve as nature takes its course and offering an alternative concept of beauty.

The exhibition also attempts to uncover the intrinsic beauty of imitation flowers in Stella Baraklianou’s photographic work, which makes conspicuous reference to the "traditional" paintings of 19th century French Impressionist artist Henri Fantin-Latour. She is interested in themes of escapism and utopia and uses gold reflector in her work to creates sets of "reversibles", where the mirroring effect of the material creates a surface for escapism. "Artificial décor, plastic flowers and roses, inspired by Henri Fantin-Latour, are my source of inspiration," she says.

Ceramicist Becky Mackenzie is taking part in the exhibition too, bringing art and nature together by uniting the inherently delicate flower with the functional, more robust nature of ceramics.

Becky trained at Camberwell College of Art and Central Saint Martins, graduating with a First in Ceramic Design. Now based in Northumberland, she is pursuing a practice-?led PhD at Glasgow School of Art and her work has been sold by The Conran Shop and Designers Guild.

Next door, Janette Ray has assembled her complementary Bloom! exhibition. "We have always sold garden design books at the business and so we're excited to be part of this week's events being held to celebrate 250 years of the Ancient Society of York Florists, the oldest society of its kind in the world, which has been important keeping fashionable flowers in the public eye through its shows," she says.

"Our contribution to this celebration is an art show in collaboration with Lotte Inch Gallery, the first such collaboration between our enterprises. Part I, at Lotte's gallery, features the wonderful work of Rebecca Louise Law. At No 8, next door, in Part II, there's a mixed art show by artists who have used flowers as their subject.

"Artists include Barnett Freedman, John Nash and Derrick Greaves, among others, and there are also wonderful photographs by Peter Heaton, whose suite of work here is inspired by Karl Blossfeldt."

The Ephemeral Nature of Flowers Parts I and 2 will run until July 28.

Charles Hutchinson